A privacy fence is something every homeowner within city limits needs. It provides a simple layer of not only privacy, but also security. The question is not, should you have a privacy fence, the question is, should you build it yourself or hire a professional to do it for you?
There are two basic reasons most folks take on the pursuit of building a fence around their backyard space themselves – to save money or to have the satisfaction of completing a personally customized project around their own home.
In order to save money by building your own fence, the cost of building the fence yourself has to be less than the cost of hiring a contractor, obviously, but let’s consider the costs required to build your own fence. Materials are probably the first thing you think of, but do you have all of the tools necessary to complete the job? Most semi-handy people will have the necessary tool box items, but we wouldn’t recommend trying to dig each post with a shovel. You should consider purchasing or renting a post hole auger to cut down on your personal labor time. There are also manual post hole diggers that will be cheaper than an auger, but will take much more time and energy to dig all of the post hole required for your fence. Both of these options will add to the total bill of doing it yourself, but no matter what you use to dig, make sure you call 811 first!
Surely the cost of materials and the post hole auger will be less than it would cost to hire a professional and if you are strapped for cash, perhaps that’s the best option, however, you should definitely make sure that you have enough time set aside to complete the project. If you are not familiar with the process, there is a learning curve to building a sturdy fence and navigating different terrain types you might encounter. Fence contractors can usually have your fence built in a few days depending on the size of the project. If you’re working a full-time job and trying to get it done on the weekends, it could take weeks to complete.
marking utility and property lines
Most good contractors will make sure to have a representative from your local utility company come out and mark any lines associated with utilities. This might not be something you’ve thought of, but it’s absolutely necessary to avoid damaging any electrical or gas lines among other possible blunders. You don’t have to have a contractor handle this for you, you can call 811 yourself and have the utility company out to mark the lines around your property. It’s also very important that you have a clear understanding of where your property lines are and to familiarize yourself with fence ownership laws.
DIY fence kits
If customization isn’t your reason for building your own fence, there are fence kits available that come in several stylish options. The pickets and posts all come pre-cut so you don’t have to hassle with saws and getting every measurement perfect (at least until you begin the installation). The cost of these kits is reasonable and will make the overall process much more simple for the average DIYer. Most kits come with extensive instructions for multiple scenarios, such as whether you are installing the fence into the ground or working with a concrete foundation. If you enjoy assembling IKEA furniture, this route may be your favorite!
benefits of hiring a fencing contractor
If you don’t have your heart set on doing the work yourself, a contractor can save you some sweat, blisters and time most importantly likely money as the quality of materials and the way the materials are installed with a warranty may be an initial upfront investment that pays off in the long-term. Hiring the right contractor means it will get done right the first time and it will get done far sooner than if you’re taking on the job yourself for the very first time. An experienced fence builder will also bring their knowledge of external factors that you might not have thought of, such as meeting HOA specifications, state laws that require fences to be a certain distance from a main road and how to build a good neighbor fence should it be required or desired.
In the end it all comes down to how much your time and effort are worth. Maybe paying a few extra bucks to have the process streamlined is worth it or maybe you’re dead set on accomplishing it yourself and having the satisfaction of being able to see your own handiwork everyday. If you’re looking to hire a contractor, you can find some good tips on what to look for in our previous blog post, 4 Things to Consider When Hiring a Fencing Contractor.
Building fences is one of our specialties here at Butler Contracting. Get your FREE estimate started by using our Fence Estimator Tool and we’ll walk you through an easy process to get you exactly what you need!